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How NOT to celebrate Holi, what not to do during the festival of colours

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Playing Holi using chemical colours can have allergic reactions on our skin and damage our hair
 
Holi is a festival which is celebrated almost across India, with variations in outfits, cuisine and sweets in different parts of the country. All of us love to play Holi, who doesn’t? But a little bit of precaution, little sensible behaviour can make the festival of colours appear even more vibrant! While everybody keeps advising others to play Holi safely, what exactly can be done to make sure accidents do not happen? What can be done to ensure our homes don’t get dirty or a helpless animal on the road is not tortured?
Here are some suggestions about how Holi can be played safely.

Avoid playing with chemical colours

Colours laden with chemicals which last for a long time are not good for our skin and also damage our hair. These can also lead to skin rashes and allergic reactions. People may experience skin irritation, redness, itching, and burning sensation due to chemical colours. It is advisable to use eco-friendly natural organic colours while playing Holi. Homemade natural colours made from fruits, vegetables and flowers are a sustainable and safe choice.

Avoid spraying colour on stray animals

Spraying dry colours (gulaal) or water-based colour using a water gun on stray animals or throwing water balloons at them is something children, teenagers (and sometimes even adults) love to do while celebrating Holi. The helpless animal has no place to hide and runs for his/her life. Will it be very difficult to show a little compassion towards them and NOT make them a part of our Holi celebration?
Stray animals deserve our love and compassion, avoid spraying colours on them

Keep an eye on children playing on roads amid traffic

We have to be mindful that kids do not venture on the main road or busy roads near traffic. Designating a safe area for kids to play somewhere inside the society or on the terrace would be a good idea so that they do not venture on the roads.

Warn children to not rub their eyes

It is the responsibility of us adults to offer a few safety advices to children before they go out to play Holi. While children should be warned about venturing on the road amid traffic, or spraying colours on animals, we should also advise them to not smear colours on somebody else’s eyes or rub their own eyes with coloured hands. Rubbing eyes with colours in hands may lead to corneal abrasion, eye irritation, redness, watering, and even temporary blindness if colour gets into the eyes.
It is important to ensure safety of children during Holi

Avoid playing indoors

Playing Holi inside the home is a terrible idea. It is even worse if your home is new or just painted! Still if you are having guests at home who want to smear colours on each other, it would advisable to cover your furnishings with plastic sheets or old used bed linens which can be discarded later. For cleaning up stains after Holi celebration especially on walls, you can apply hydrogen peroxide with a sponge or towel.

Playing with water

Traditionally, Holi is celebrated with water guns (pichkari) and water balloons. People also throw water at others using buckets and mugs while playing with friends, family and neighbours. This not only contributes to water wastage but can also be risky. Water accumulation can lead to wet floors, which if not cleaned on time may cause people to slip and fall, especially excited children who are running around or elderly people with poor vision.

Covering mobile phone

Safety of our mobile phones becomes a major concern during Holi, especially for people playing with water or participating in activities like rain dance. If you cannot avoid keeping the mobile phone away even for a few hours, it would be advisable to carry the phone in a water-resistant bag while playing Holi.

Smearing colour on someone who says ‘No’

We should always respect personal preferences. Someone saying ‘no’ should not be forcefully smeared with colours. Also, we should be mindful about health issues like allergies. For some people, colours have an adverse reaction on their skin. We should be sensible towards such health problems. We should respect people’s boundaries and only apply colours to those who are willing to participate and play Holi. We should avoid applying colours on someone who opts not to play or is uncomfortable with it.
We should respect personal preferences and avoid smearing clours on someone who says NO during Holi

Don’t forget skincare and haircare

Holi colours damage our hair and skin, so it is important to take necessary precautions. It is advisable to apply little bit of coconut oil or olive oil or mustard oil on the hair and skin before going out to play Holi because oil forms a protective layer. Oil will prevent the colour from penetrating the skin and hair and the colour can be washed off easily with shampoo post celebration.

Stay hydrated

It is important to stay hydrated because Holi comes at that time of the year when the weather is dry. Playing outdoor under the sun in the dry weather can make us dehydrated. So we should drink lots of water to prevent falling sick. Especially we should be mindful about children and make them drink lots of water before they go out to play Holi. We should stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water before, during, and after playing Holi.